Councils already preparing for the NBN

By Lilia Guan
The latest survey commissioned by Australian-owned Macquarie Telecom and conducted by Access Economics, showed more than half of the businesses surveyed expect the way in which they operate will change under the NBN.
This change was expected to; improve online capabilities (55 per cent); deliver product and service offerings (50 per cent); create more diverse ways of communicating with consumers and suppliers (67 per cent); change employment models; and increase in telecommuting (20 per cent).
Matt Healy, national executive regulatory and government at Macquarie Telecom, told Government News the NBN will help plug regional towns back into the “wider economy”.
“The NBN will impact local and regional councils in two ways,” he said.
“These councils will either be responsible for providing manpower in building the infrastructure or they’ll be responsible in directing new economy into their towns.”
Mr Healy said some councils have become quite involved in the NBN infrastructure and have taken it to heart.
“Take Ipswich Council, it has already started preparing for the changes the broadband infrastructure will bring to the region.
“They’ve been so poorly served by their current broadband connections and they believe the NBN rollout will be able to change their economy”
Mr Healey believes the broadband infrastructure will also help metropolitan-based councils provide more services online.
“Some city councils give their residents the ability to pay rates, but that’s limited by the current download speeds,” he said.
“With the NBN councils will be able to allow their users to do things like access their planning applications in 3D, whereby users can walk around their proposed buildings.”
Mr Healy said the early preparations for the NBN, within organisations showed, they weren’t “jaded by the political fighting” that has been going on at the federal level.
Access Economics responses for the survey were received from 550 firms of all sizes across 17 industry groups.

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